26th August 2012
The Presidential Task Force on the Cholera outbreak continues to examine on-going efforts to effectively manage the disease throughout the country. Coordinated by State House Chief of Staff Dr. Kaifala Marah, a specialized Team of collaborating agencies provided briefings on their current efforts, within the emergency framework and in collaboration with United Nations Agencies, Donors, Civil Society, the Media, Women, Youths and other sections of society.
The multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary team dealt with the critical areas of cleanliness at Treatment Centers in Hospitals, prevention of water contamination, Public Health and Food Hygiene.
Experts drawn from the Ministry of Health, SALWACO, Local Councils and State House, recommended the intensification of water treatment at various points and urgent introduction of Jerry Cans, Aqua Tablets and enhanced testing for effective purification at the house-hold level.
These will enhance ongoing chlorination of household drinking water in many communities around Freetown and elsewhere. Testing of water points in Freetown, Lungi and other areas is underway to curb the spread of the epidemic.
Urgent steps are also being taken to revive and recruit community Health Volunteers, to monitor Health compliance and enforce Health Laws, as well as sensitization of Food Vendors to reduce food exposure and contamination, with related punishment for non-compliance.
Meanwhile, Government Resident Ministers, District Officers and Local Councils are currently working closely to ensure that cleaning contractors are working effectively to ensure that Health Facilities throughout the country are properly cleaned and maintained in good hygienic conditions to avoid further spread of the water-borne disease, which can also be aggravated by poor hygiene and sanitation.
At the same time, Government and its local and international development partners have enhanced the sharing of information on actions being taken to control cholera, while also finalizing a comprehensive strategy to confront the challenge with additional measures being taken by the end of this week.